BOSTON ( –The Baker-Polito Administration Wednesday announced a COVID-19 Vaccine Advisory Group to advance its efforts to prepare to distribute a safe and effective COVID-19 vaccine once it becomes available.

Comprised of medical professionals, public health experts, elected officials, community leaders and infectious disease specialists, the COVID-19 Vaccine Advisory Group will advise the Administration, including the Massachusetts Department of Public Health (DPH) and the COVID-19 Command Center, on communication, distribution, and equity issues relating to a COVID-19 vaccine.

The Commonwealth has actively been working on preparedness and planning for a COVID-19 vaccine since early August. This work builds on and enhances the state’s experience in distributing approximately 3 million vaccine doses each year. The group will help inform the planning and preparedness work already underway and further strengthen efforts to successfully and equitably allocate, distribute and administer a safe and effective COVID-19 vaccine.

Over the past decade, the Commonwealth has invested in the state-of-the-art Massachusetts Immunization Information System, which serves as the state’s vaccine registry, ordering system and inventory mechanism. More than 3,000 provider sites currently report their data to this system, and DPH is actively onboarding an additional 1,000 clinical sites to further enhance the distribution and tracking of a COVID-19 vaccine.

Working closely with DPH leaders, particularly DPH Medical Director Dr. Larry Madoff and DPH Assistant Commissioner Kevin Cranston, members of the COVID-19 Vaccine Advisory Group include (name – place of work):

  • Dr. Paul Biddinger, Chair – Mass General Brigham
  • Dr. Barry Bloom – Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health
  • Dr. Vincent Chiang – Boston Children’s Hospital
  • Michael Curry, Esq. – Massachusetts League of Community Health Centers
  • Dr. Robert Finberg – University of Massachusetts Medical School
  • State Senator Cindy Friedman – Chairperson of the Joint Committee on Health Care Financing
  • Dr. Marc Lipsitch – Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health
  • State Representative Ronald Mariano – House Majority Leader
  • Wanda McClain – Brigham and Women’s Hospital
  • Dr. Asif Merchant – Mass Medical Society
  • Mayor Daniel Rivera – City of Lawrence
  • Dr. John Rocchio – CVS Health
  • Dr. David Twitchell – Boston Medical Center
  • Rev. Liz Walker – Roxbury Presbyterian Church
  • Phoebe Walker – Franklin Regional Council of Governments
  • Dr. Simone Wildes – South Shore Hospital
  • Dr. Sharon Wright – Beth Israel Lahey Health